Oct. 10 Dusty Baker pregame interview

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for being here, Dusty. We'll take the first question.

Q. Good morning. How was kind of the flight and the quick turnaround and how do you think everyone's feeling?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I mean, not quite awake yet, but you've got to get awake by game time. And you know, it was a nice flight. Had the families on the trip. Got a nice hotel. Beautiful day and a beautiful day to play.

Q. Did you consider making a switch at shortstop for today?

DUSTY BAKER: No.

Q. Do you recall if Gio threw to live hitters in the workouts during the week? With his layoff, would that be a help to him, or are the layoffs so long?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, you don't really know, if layoffs help or hurt a guy, depending on, I mean, you'll see how sharp he is early.

To my recollection, I don't think he did throw to hitters. He threw a couple pens, and no, I don't think he threw to hitters.

Q. Just talk about Espinosa, obviously had a rough start to the series. Do you say anything to him at this point?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, I've talked to him. I've talked to him throughout the year. I talk to all my guys, especially the guys that are struggling some. I just can't tell you what I talk to them about (laughter).

You know, most of us have been through that. It's really too early to just start making changes, especially if you stuck with us all year long. The guy did have 23 home runs and almost 80 RBIs.

I mean, if Bryce Harper was struggling, you would have a fit if I took him out. I'm not that kind of manager. I mean, there might be a time when that's possible, but it's not possible yet. Because, see, he's hard to figure, you know. I mean, he's hard to figure because he'll strikeout in succession and then he'll hit two home runs. So how do you know when he's about to hit two home runs and how do you know when he's about to strike out? And if you knew, I wish you would tell me.

Q. You first set foot in this stadium well over 40 years ago, when you were with the Braves, and you played here for many years. When you come back, do all the memories flood back to you, and even with all the changes to the stadium, is it still the same Dodger Stadium that you've always known?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, I mean, it's still the same Dodger Stadium. It's the same Dodger Stadium that I came to as a kid, you know, even before I got into professional baseball. This is always one of my favorite stadiums.

You know, they have got a lot of new, modern stadiums now. But this stadium is still in great shape, great condition. They have taken great care of it. They have changed the seats. They have added the Tom Lasorda whatever it is out there in right field, restauranté (laughter).

They have made some changes here. Memories do come back. You try not to dwell on them, but you know, I have some very pleasant memories here and the town was good to me. I think in a small way, I was pretty good to the town.

Q. You didn't face Maeda in either of the series during the year. You've adjusted your lineup the way you had it against the righties. Can you talk about the reports on how you would approach Maeda or what that he is really good at that you're up against?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, you guys want me to tell you all our secrets. I can't do that.

I heard that Maeda mixes it up. He'll throw you anything at any time. He has excellent control. And other than that, I haven't seen Maeda pitch except on video. I don't think any of our guys have faced him.

And so similar to Hill the other day, the first go-around or two is probably going to be in his favor, since we don't know him. I know if it was the Giants, they faced him four or five times; they are in the same division.

We don't know him, and the nod goes to the pitcher the first go-around or two.

Q. I've known you for long, long time. I always think about why do they call you Dusty. Were you too fast when you were a youngster in Riverside?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, I was pretty fast. But they call me Dusty because we had a big backyard that my dad planted, had grass everywhere. It was like a football field, and then there was one dirt spot in the middle and that's where I seemed to like to play. My mom didn't want to call me Dirty, so she called me Dusty (laughter).

And then everybody in my family, the only thing they have called me is Dusty my whole life. The only guys that call me Johnny are guys that I went to elementary and junior high school with that the teacher won't call you by your nicknames. So if somebody calls me Johnny B, it kind of gets my attention. If they call me Dusty, I just wave.

Q. You've had a lot of success with this lineup at times this year, had some success yesterday with the one you had switched to. What made the decision to go to Murphy and Harper in the order that you went with them today?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I've seen Murphy hit and in the beginning, I wasn't sure how Murphy was going to be. I wasn't sure how his leg was going to be. So I tried to put him in a position to drive in runs and not necessarily have to run. But it appears he's much better.

You change your lineup according to the personnel and according to the pitcher that you're facing, and then tomorrow, you know, I don't like changing my lineup all the time, but I've got to do what I've got to do. And then tomorrow, probably change my lineup again.

You know, I've got my reasons. I don't do anything just out of the blue, you know. So I have my reasons, and most of the time, it works pretty good.

Q. How does having three games in a row now impact how you use your bullpen?

DUSTY BAKER: That's a good question. We're both at the same situation here where we had made our roster, thinking they were going to have two days on, one day off, two days on. And you know, had we had known that we were going to go three days in a row, we might have kept the extra arm.

So it does impact you. You've got to realize, some guys throw better with a couple days' rest and some guys throw just as well, or just as good or better with consecutive days. We'll just have to take a pulse of everybody in our bullpen, because you've seen how important bullpens have been in this series and they will continue to be throughout the playoffs.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks very much, Dusty. Appreciate it.